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Grateful Dead Live at Clark University on 1969-04-20

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Grateful Dead Live at Clark University on 1969-04-20

Topics Live concert

Morning Dew, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Doin' That Rag, Dark Star > St. Stephen > The Eleven > Death Don't Have Mercy; Encores: Dupree's Diamond Blues > Mountains Of The Moon

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Clark University
Location Worcester, MA

Source Soundboard
Lineage SBD > Cassette Master (Ampex C-90, no Dolby) > DAT(M)@ 44.1K via Panasonic SV3700>DAT(1)>DAT(2) > WAV via Sony SDT9000 DDS drive using VDAT0.6f > Soundforge 4.0
Transferred by Rob Eaton and Jamie Lutch


crossfades of two short dropouts in Morning Dew at 3:29 and 7:19 crossfade of reel flip in the beginning of The Eleven
fades to begin and end the set all other crossfades were edits of flips between songs where no music was disturbed

no DAE, resampling, or bulk processing of waveform was performed


Reviewer: Bucketed1Sevices - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 20, 2017
Subject: Bungo Straits-1942
Phil's Remark In The Tuning To Start The Recording Is An Obscure Reference To "Run Silent,Run Deep" A 1958 Clark Gable Movie About The U.S.Submarine Nerka's Struggle With A Particular Japanese Destoyer Named Akikaze In The Bungo Channel In Which Silent Running Was Required. A Reference To The Initial Typical Sound Issues.
Reviewer: njpg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 30, 2016
Subject: Nice
Sweet show. I agree that the Live/Dead album had more astonishing performances, and the February show that most of that album came from was without doubt one of the 10 best they ever played. But if you can't see how well the Dead are playing here, even if Hendrix and whoever grabbed you harder, well... might be because a lot of the Dead's music just ain't real grabby in the first place. It has to do with the mode they most often play in: the mixolydian mode doesn't jump out at you, it kinda sits in the background and waits, which is one of the reason their jams are so long: so they can jump on and off when they feel like it, and the audience can too. Hendrix couldn't have played a Dark Star or an Eyes of the World like he could Hey Joe or Voodoo Chile. Could you say the reverse was true?
Reviewer: JimCollins - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 18, 2016
Subject: Some corrections and amplifications
First, the show was scheduled for Saturday 4/19, but the Dead's equipment didn't get there. (I have the concert poster on my wall.) The show was postponed to Sunday 4/20, but Roland Kirk would only agree to that if he were switched to headline (close) the show.

Bob Echter, the SAB chairman, handed me a pile of cash to pay the airfreight delivery people when they arrived very late the night of 4/19. When they arrived, we loaded the gear into Atwood Hall.

When the Dead crew showed up, I remember thinking, "Wow! These guys get to travel with the band!" There was a jug of lemonade(?) passed around that turned out to be dosed with Owsley's favorite.

According to story, he also managed to dose all of Kirk's band, but not Kirk himself. After the show, Kirk appeared just offstage near the front seats of the auditorium. One of our classmates said something to him that upset him, and he said "Where's my gun?" and started feeling the bags on his walking stick (which had something like animal-skin bags on the sides and a roller skate wheel ont he bottom). We thought it was a joke, but his road manager said, "He ain't kidding, man!" and ducked behind a seat. Everyone scattered, but somebody calmed him down and he departed with our friend, Paul Pena for a night in Boston.

I do remember Mountain Girl showing up at soundcheck. Jerry was clearly pleased to see her. (I had a total flashback to that moment when I saw "This is Spinal Tap" and Jeanette shows up at a soundcheck.)

I still have some photos from the show, taken by Bob Denton.

There was a moment during Kirk's closing set when he asked if there were any requests. Someone in the back of the hall said "Play something straight." Kirk replied, "If you don't dig it, why don't you split?" Legend has it that it was Bob Weir making the comment.
Reviewer: jerrygarciafan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 7, 2014
Subject: Best Dark Star I've ever heard.
Morning Dew is not spectacular, but still good. Songs that stand out the most like a flame are Dark Star, Steven, and Lovelight.

All around a very mellow show. Easy on the ears and perfect to chill to. Love it.
Reviewer: ArtBinMarin - favoritefavorite - December 20, 2013
Subject: I was there, I was bored, still am.
First, I found this post via a search for James Taylor Clark U 1969, and somehow this came up in the search engine. It was, after all, the same venue,but three weeks earlier than Taylor played it and had knocked me out. So I stumbled into this, but since I was there that night, since I saw the Dead 9 or 10 times over the years, and since I saw a lot of great and near-great shows from other bands, especially in the 60's through mid-80's, think I have some context to say that night the Dead didn't deliver a great show. Not even a good one. Perhaps it was the astonishing Hendrix show I had seen the previous September, or the Doors that January, or the ballsy Cream show a year before, but to me this Dead show was just stoned people doodling. When I heard Live Dead maybe 8 months later, I couldn't believe it was the same band. Then I wore out several copies of Live Dead learning the bass parts, and eventually lots of the Garcia parts too, but re-listening to this show for the 1st time in nearly 45 years, I now understand it was necessary for the Dead to be right in order for the licks to mean anything. Sorry, I know this is like criticizing Jesus in a Christian forum, but to me it was a boring show. FYI, the best of the 9 or 10 Dead shows I saw was Winterland, either late 1977 or early 1978, spirited and fine playing that night. So I also experienced the Dead when they were really good.
Reviewer: Bruce Matzkin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 22, 2013
Subject: Anyone know of a download?
I'm a Clarkie, class of '87... this one I'd like to have on my laptop. Btw, little known is that it was from this Dead show where April 20 became known as the date for stoners to celebrate marijuana... Clarkies made it the day!
Reviewer: DMT - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 20, 2012
Subject: aces are crawling up and down my sleave
first night of an epic four night Mass. run. and the first of four Dark Stars in a row. This is a sweet one. Jerrys domintaes this show and his playing and singing are great. "Death Don't Have No Mercy" is sung real nice and the jam in the middle is tasty. Graet encore. Compared to the raw energy the next night i would call this mellow yet worth every second of listening.
Reviewer: barreramusic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 15, 2012
Subject: Beautiful Rag
I truly am enjoying this whole show again. Wow, what a sound this band had in '69, This version has much less hiss than the other currently available on 5 stars for that (since we're lucky to have any archive of this show at all). Also, this version is much more complete--so 5 stars for that. For me, the five star highlights are below:

To me, Doin' That Rag is the greatest--partly because I hardly ever hear versions of this one and partly because it is so groovy, with the high and low and fast and slow dynamics. I'm a sucker for dynamics. The lyrics fall at one point but pick back up. Garcia's solo has fantastic energy!--5 stars.

I also love the Dark Star and Death Don't Have No Mercy--55 starss.

No sense in saying anything negative here...
Reviewer: Pangolin22 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 17, 2011
Subject: Nice discovery
I had never heard of this show so it was a great discovery for me. Not the best of this era but a few great performances. The hypnotic DS is a beauty as is Mountains of the Moon. There is a bit of hiss on the tape and the sound is a touch murky as mentioned in other reviews but it's still quite listenable.
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 13, 2011
Subject: good show, weak recording
this show is very good all around. the best part is the great Dark Star which imo is at least as good as the night after.

but the recording is very hissy, muddy, and at low volume. not to mention there's a bad cut of an otherwise nice Eleven, which is also a big determent. but it's still worth grabbing, as is every April show from '69.
Reviewer: gmarks - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 23, 2010
Subject: early christmas present
so i've been a head for 29-30 years now, never, never had heard this show til this dreary, yet satisfying day...only thru dark star and alls i can say is thanks to this site (and jer natch!)
Reviewer: kapowsin - - April 21, 2009
Subject: To the previous reviewer:
Well, you can hear Jerry saying the the tuning section before Morning Dew "Last time we were here, it was a collasal disaster..." ...

Also, thanks for drawing my attention to this show... I can get kind of burned out on 70's Dead, it's really refreshing to go back to 69 ... It's a totally different sound than what emerged in the 1970's ... In no way lacking ... Just different ... I love 69 Dark Starts - spacey, but still generally melodic and tonal ...
Reviewer: cudBwrong - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 21, 2009
Subject: Second Dead Show at Clark
There was an earlier Dead show at Clark, the prior academic year, which is missing from the database.

I was a Freshman in the fall of '67. The Dead made their first appearance at Atwood Hall in late '67 or early '68. They performed a lot of material from Anthem although it had not been released yet. I was sitting near the center aisle when all of I sudden, maybe 40 minutes into the set, Paul MacGalliard goes running down the aisle towards the stage. That's funny, I thought. I wasn't used to seeing Paul, a man of significant size, move so fast. I was working with the theater group, learning stage lighting, and Paul, who was a year or two ahead of me, tolerated me and taught me the ropes. Suddenly I realized that all of the little red lights on the guitar amps had gone out. The Dead had blown out the power, but I was so entranced, I didn't even notice. The stage lights were still on, they were on a different circuit. The band members all picked up percussion instruments and just kept playing. (Maybe this was not the first time this had happened). They kept jamming until Paul threw the breakers and the power came back.

The Dead played a while longer until the circuits heated up and they blew the power again. It was no use, they excused themselves, and promised to come back, which they did in April of 1969. We had new power lines in Atwood, installed especially for them.

Our fabulous Student Affairs Board (SAB) -- RockDoc is absolutely right about them -- used to get great acts at times by trying to add an extra, non-prime night to an existing tour nearby. So if a group came to Boston for a Saturday night, we might try to book them for Friday, that sort of thing. For those who are not familiar with it, Clark's Atwood Hall is an intimate setting. It's a theater with a classic stage layout and balcony, but it seats only 658.

The date of (Saturday) April 19, 1969 on the poster could be correct. In '69 I drove to Boston the night before the gig and helped to collect the band at the Boston airport, and I helped them set up the following day; the performance could have been scheduled for a Saturday. However, the posters were printed far in advance, and plans sometimes changed at the last minute. If the band was running late, (and note that they played Indiana on Friday, April 18), then we would have pushed everything forward one day until Sunday. The band flew and the gear came by truck, and that is a long drive to do in a single day.

There was a small party on the stage before the set, in addition to everything that happened afterwards. And Roland Kirk did have a gun.

So when was the missing first concert? I don't know exactly, but it must have been when the Dead came East for a tour. They appeared in New York on Friday, December 22, 1967. The next earlier date in the database is Wednesday, December 13 in Los Angeles. So it's possible they came to Clark on Friday December 15, or Saturday December 16, 1967, but that would not have given them enough time to drive the gear from California. Another possibility is the first week of 1968, since they played Boston on Saturday, December 30, 1967. They could have played Clark Saturday, January 7, 1968, and had enough time to get back to Bakersfield for their next gig on January 14.

RockDoc brings back lots of memories. Owsley was an educational experience all by himself. I hear that Soupy is still alive and well. I remember that apartment. Bob Weir was right. It was much stranger upstairs.
Reviewer: oh_uh_um_ah - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 20, 2009
Subject: The GRATEFUL DEAD "Live On Stage" April 20, 1969 at Clark University, Worcester, MA, U.S.A.


Forty years ago today the GRATEFUL DEAD were playin' at Clark University in Worcester Massachusettes, where were you?

I couldn't be there in 69' but I showed up today, where were you?

Classic Magical, Mythical 1969 Sound.


"Dark Star" is as it should be with all the right sounds in all the right places.

I highly recommend adding this show to your 1969 GRATEFUL DEAD collection.

5 Stars for the mix, recording, performance and transfer.

The IA recommends users of Windows XP view this web-page with RealPlayer. RealPlayer is a free media player you can download at

For easy streaming or downloading use RealPlayer. Click the VBR M3U link to open the songs in the Playlist. If your Playlist is not open, open it by clicking the Playlist icon at the lower right hand corner of RealPlayer. Once the songs are in the Playlist, double click the song to play it, then click the record button at the lower left hand corner of Realplayer to record it. When the red line reaches the other end click the stop button to download the song. Your song is in the RealPlayer Downloads folder. Repeat these steps for each song.

Eat, Drink, Be Merry and Listen to the GRATEFUL DEAD.

Thanks for the LOVE from 1969.

Clark University got lucky this night...Listen.

PS: Get em' while you can, get em' while they're free, get em' now or you'll be sorry...the Man giveth and the Man taketh away...WTTW
Reviewer: Al Astrella - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 28, 2007
Subject: clark show
Hi RockDoc, thanks for review on Clark show. Like you, I saw a good number of shows at Atwood hall (Ten Years After was a great show).I do remember that poolin the basement. I wonder if our paths ever crossed? Are there any photographs from this show? And what is true date of this show? Poster says 19th, deadbase says 20th. Also, what is this about 2nd dead show? Deadbase does not list it, and I never heard of it. And I grew up in Worcester. Al Astrella
Reviewer: RockDoc50 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 26, 2007
Subject: Clarkie Experience
I was a freshman at Clark. Clark always had great music because of guys like David DePaul (rest his soul), Bob Eckert, and Steve DePaul who served on the SAB. How many other schools with a student body of under 1500 had Hendrix, the Dead (at least twice), Janis, Chuck Berry, the Chambers Brothers, the Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, James Taylor, Ray Charles, Ten Years After, etc, etc, in the space of 4 or 5 years?? This was my first Dead concert--I had listened to the first album and Anthem of the Sun until the grooves were worn out. Aoxomoxoa and Live Dead would be released later that year. It was the first time I'd ever seen a man wearing a ponytail (or pigtails---Owsley!). Jerry without a beard. Weir looked about 15. Mickey Hart tried to pick up "Cowboy Neil's" girlfriend--he was pretty anguished over the whole deal Mountain Girl was there--she was incredibly beautiful back then. I was at Atwood Hall for the sound check. Roland Kirk made a big deal about who was billed as the first act. The Dead were consulted and said it was cool for Kirk to get first billing, but not before he actually pulled out a gun. That's a whole other story, but those who were there know it's true. There was lots of liquid stuff being passed around by Owsley. A post-party at Soupy's apartment with a cake that was literally green from the organic ingrediants (LOL). Bobby Weir was walking down the stairs telling someone that if they thought it was weird downstairs they should check out the upstairs.
The Dead were really phenomenal. They did St Stephen with canon and all. Duprees and Mountains of the Moon were treasures--I had never heard before because the album hadn't yet been released. This was the beginning of a long love affair between me and the Dead. Many visits backstage, first through my close friendship to Andy who got to know Jerry and other member of the Dead family pretty well, and later by my friendship with Steve Marcus, their ticket manager. One of my all-time best memories of Clark, though, was this concert. I'm amazed that it has been preserved all these years. Perfect flashback.
Reviewer: kevo548 - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 20, 2006
Subject: Hisssssssss
Sound is low and there's quite a bit of hiss, but besides that, it's an amazing show.
Reviewer: Mike Ashenfelder - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 13, 2004
Subject: Mountains of the Moon
A very sweet "Mountains of the Moon," marred slightly by an out-of-tune acoustic guitar.
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